The '''Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge''' ('''SDUK'''), founded in 1826, and wound up in 1848, was a British Whig Party|Whiggish London
organisation that published inexpensive texts intended to adapt scientific and similarly high-minded material for the rapidly expanding reading public. It was established mainly at the instigation of Henry Peter Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux|Lord Brougham
with the objects of publishing information to people who were unable to obtain formal teaching, or who preferred autodidactism|self-education
An American group of the same name was founded as part of the Lyceum movement
in the United States around the same period. Its Boston Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge|Boston branch
sponsored lectures by such speakers as Ralph Waldo Emerson
, and was active from 1829 to 1947.
Henry David Thoreau
cites the Society in his essay "Walking," in which he jestingly...